The USA won two medals at the second FIVB event of the 2018 schedule, held at the Beach Indoor Center in Aalsmeer, Netherlands. Qualifiers Bill Kolinske and Miles Evans made it to the championship match, their first, while Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen took home a bronze, their third of 2017. Kim DiCello and Emily Stockman finished fifth.
Kolinske and Evans qualified by defeating Ukraine’s Iaroslav Gordieiev and Evgen Zhuravel 25-27, 21-17, 15-7. They advanced to the gold-medal match with main-draw wins over Norway’s Daniel Bergerud and Svein Solhaug (25-15, 25-16), Netherland’s Jannes van der Ham and Sven Vismans (21-12, 21-13), and Turkey’s Murat Giginoglu and Hasan Mermer (15-21, 21-17, 15-13) before losing to Italy’s Marco Caminato and Enrico Rossi (18-21, 15-21).
Flint and Larsen defeated France’s Alexandra Jupiter and Ophelie Lusson (21-19, 21-19), USA teammates DiCello and Stockman (21-9, 21-17), but lost a tight three-setter to Germany’s Kim Behrens and Sandra Ittlinger (17-21, 21-16, 9-15) before rebounding to win bronze over Japan’s Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami (25-23, 21-18).
DiCello and Stockman began with a three set win over the Netherlands’ Annemieke Driessen and Ilke Meertens (14-21, 21-17, 16-14) before being eliminated by Flint and Larsen.
Kolinske was understandably excited about their first medal finish.
“It was a great tournament for us. We battled back after losing the first set to Ukraine to win in three in the qualifier. Then, we played very consistent in the next two matches against Norway and the Netherlands.” Kolinske said.
“Our match against Turkey, being down 10-6 in the third to win 15-13, was a great win for us. It will give us a lot of confidence going into the Australia tournament at the end of the month.”
After this taste of success, Evans is ready for more.
“I really enjoyed playing in my first indoor beach volleyball tournament,” Evans said. “The facility was phenomenal, they had an awesome crowd, and it was awesome experiencing playing against some different styles of volleyball. We’re hoping to keep getting more opportunities to play internationally and work our way up to the top.”
FIVB Fort Lauderdale set for February 27 – March 4: The FIVB will return to Fort Lauderdale in 2108 for the first five-star event of the year. Other announced events for 2018 include:
- The Dela Beach Open in the Hague, January 3-7 (four-star event)
- Shepparton, Australia, February 1-4 (one-star event)
- Kish Island, Iran, February 20-24 (three-star event, men only)
- Doha, Qatar, March 6-10 (four-star event, men only)
- Oman (city not listed), March 14-17 (one-star event, men only)
- Aalsmeer, Netherlands, March 15-18 (one-star event, men only)
Mike Bright honored with paddle-out: Bright, one of the all-time greats who died September 22, was honored at Hermosa Beach by Who’s Who of beach volleyball, surfing, and lifeguards.
Bright won a record five consecutive Manhattan Beach Opens from 1960-1964, as well as being an Olympian thrice for indoor volleyball (1964, 1968, 1972), and once for surfing and paddling (1956)
Before the paddle-out, Olympic teammates Larry Rundle, Rudy Suwara and Keith Erickson shared remembrances of Bright. Marv Dunphy presented the Olympic flag, flanked by the eight Olympians in attendance.
“We spoke, we cried, we laughed, and then it was time to take my dad to the place he loved most, the ocean,” said Bright’s daughter, Bonnie. “I led the way with my kayak and was launched by an old Malibu friend, Kevin Sutton, my husband, Dave Counts, and Randy Stoklos, who gave me a jet-propelled launch through the waves.
“As I paddled out to the Baywatch boat just past the pier, I saw a large porpoise jump out of the water just ahead. Everyone followed on boards or swimming. We circled and held hands. As I looked around, I could see my daughters, Maile and Mariah and my husband, Dave.
“Also present was my first babysitter from Hermosa, my old neighbor, my family, Gary Sato, Randy Stoklos, lifeguard and surfing friends of my dad’s … It was an amazing circle of support and just the best representation of all aspects of my dad’s life.
“I released from the circle and freed my dad. No more health issues, no more not being able to get on the water and swim; no more being paralyzed. He was back in the waters he grew up in and loved. The Baywatch boat sprayed the ashes– and me! — with a huge shower. Everyone splashed and threw their flowers into the circle.”
Marci Klein of Klein Creative Media produced a nice video of the paddle-out.
The group then met inside the Poop Deck to share stories and view a video montage of Bright’s life.
1985 FIVB Most Valuable Coach Gary Sato was one of those paying his respects.
“I showed up to paddle out and pay my respects to Mike Bright and family. I was surprised and honored to participate in the presentation of the Olympic flag to the Bright family,” Sato said.
“A lot of my role models and heroes were part of that group. Rudy and Ernie Suwara, Butch May, Larry Rundle, John Alstrom, Marv Dunphy and Keith Erickson.
“I was in awe of Mike’s accomplishments and contributions in many different areas of life.”
The Sato family may be the most famous family in volleyball, with Gary serving as assistant coach in the 1988 Olympics (bronze), Eric playing in 1988 (gold) and 1992 (bronze), and Liane played in 1988 and 1992 (bronze). Sato acknowledged that his family was influenced by Bright and his family.
“I signed the Olympic flag with the inscription, ‘Mike, you and your family inspired the Sato’s.’ His wife Patty was my sister Liane’s Santa Monica High School coach and also being an Olympian impacted both Liane and Eric.”
Preseason NCAA beach at Gulf Shores: Florida State, LSU, Stetson, Georgia State, South Carolina, and Spring Hill met October 28th at Gulf Shores, the site of the 2018 NCAA beach volleyball finals. No results were available.
FSU, who finished fourth in the NCAA 2017 beach championship, relished the opportunity to compete at Gulf Shores, the site of next year’s 2018 championship.
“It was really good to be at Gulf Shores, and get comfortable with the beach in preparation for this year’s championships,” FSU head coach Brooke Niles said.
“We had freezing weather and wind, and our team played really well and were able to work on a lot of things. Overall it was good for us.”
Fonoimoana, Blanton at ribbon-cutting ceremony: 2000 Olympic gold medalists Eric Fonoimoana and Dain Blanton were on hand at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new playground at the Richstone Family Center. The Richstone Family Center, located in Hawthorne, Calif., is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse, strengthening families, and preventing violence in families, schools, and communities.
National non-profit KaBOOM! and Jetblue came together to build the children a beautiful new playground in six hours.
“Before this playground was built this area was a dirt area with dead grass here and there, not a great place for children to play,” Fonoimoana said.
“The Richstone Foundation does a great job of keeping kids active and fit, something that Dain and I are happy to support.”
Halloween beach Instagram posts: Halloween dominates social media on an annual basis, so we thought we would offer up our 10 favorite Instagram posts from this week. And, yes, Casey Patterson is featured in two of the posts. His Instagram game is strong:
Happy Birthday today to
Matt Gage 71
Steve Obradovich 63
Karch Kiraly 57
Jennifer Meredith 45
Whitney Pavlik 34
Paul Lotman 32
Alexander Brouwer 28
and many more.